One of my new favorites books is also a new release this year. We Don’t Eat Our Classmates is about a dinosaur named Penelope Rex who is nervous about her first day of school. When she finally arrives one first day, she realizes her classmates are CHILDREN and she eats them because children are delicious. After being ordered to spit them back out, she has a few more hiccups before she finally learns her lesson and makes friends.

There are so many great lessons to pull from this book. The values of grit and resilience are evident throughout. Penelope has a hard time controlling her impulses, as most children do (especially those with special needs) and she makes the same mistake more than once, but she keeps trying. Eventually, she is able to form friendships. You can create lesson plans around finding similarities and differences, cause and effect, main story and sequencing, etc. etc.

We went with a simple dinosaur craft, had the kids name their dinosaurs and present to their peers. This year we are really working on encouraging independence (the older grades used the schedule as a checklist) and developing narrative skills.

This book is definitely a new favorite on our bookshelf. The pictures are engaging and the story is exciting for a read aloud. The JAR schedule has been posted in English and Spanish. Unfortunately, this book doesn’t have a Spanish companion, but we found lots of Dinosaur books in Spanish that could be used for a read aloud. Books like:

¿Cómo son buenos amigos los dinosaurios? (How Do Dinosaurs Stay Friends?) (Spanish Edition)

¿Cómo dicen estoy enojado los dinosaurios? (How Do Dinosaurs Say I’m Mad?): (Spanish language edition of How Do Dinosaurs Say I’M MAD!) (Spanish Edition)

¿Cómo aprenden los colores los dinosaurios? (How Do Dinosaurs Learn Their Colors?): (Spanish language edition of How Do Dinosaurs Learn Their Colors?) (Spanish Edition)

¿Cómo eligen sus mascotas los dinosaurios? (How Do Dinosaurs Choose Their Pets?) (Spanish Edition)

Como comen los dinosaurios? (How Do Dinosaurs…) (Spanish Edition)

The kids enjoyed the story almost as much as they enjoyed making their own dinosaurs. The level of prompting needed for this craft will vary depending on the class and functioning level of students. My 4th and 5th grade 12:1:1 class was able to independently make their dinosaurs with minimal prompting. My first grade 12:1:1 needed to be guided through each step but we assigned a student per number and collected data by using each student interaction as a trial (asking and answering questions.)


Hope you enjoy this activity. Please comment down below if this post inspires any lesson plans.

Leave a Reply